Title: Growing Pains, Book 1: A Growing Lad
Author: UM Lassiter
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Characters: Alex Johnson
Sub-Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fantasy
You can’t be a wallflower when you’re bigger than the wall.
High School junior Alex Johnson thinks he finally has his life all arranged to deal with his Asperger’s Syndrome, with the help of a handful of close friends and relatives. Everything threatens to fall apart when he suddenly finds his condition is really due to a one-off genetic treatment he had as an infant. Yes, the treatment saved his life, but now he’s going through incredible changes that threaten to stand all his hard-won relationships on their head. Suddenly, he finds he’s big man on campus—literally!
A Growing Lad is an interesting and thought provoking story of a young man who goes through a lot of physical and emotional growth over his senior year of high school.
Alex Johnson has never been a popular boy. Because he has a mild case of Aspergers Syndrome, he has difficulty reading other peoples’ emotions and doesn’t always know how to act in social situations. But Alex does have a few friends he relies on, as well as, he has a very good relationship with his grandmother and mother.
When he is given a ‘treatment’ for an injury, things begin to change for him. Not only does he grow taller, he becomes stronger on a both physical and eventually emotional level. As he goes through these changes, Alex really begins become more self-confident and opens himself up to more possibilities in life.
I really liked this book. Alex is a likeable hero, but because of his Aspergers is often confused by others. I enjoyed watching him grow as a person and loved how he realizes he will eventually be able to stand on his two feet. It was good to see his character grow and evolve as the story progresses.
I thought his ‘growing’ condition was also pretty interesting to read. He starts out being the height and weight as an average male, but by the books end, he was almost seven feet tall and several hundred pounds of muscle. This was good, because Alex was bullied by others and I enjoyed seeing these people back off of him. There were a few characters that made me want to reach into the story and shake some sense into them (his stepfather drove me nuts with his attitude) Also, there is a romantic interest toward the end of the book, which I enjoyed, but this book is basically about the growth of an extraordinary young man as he journeys into manhood.
The book left me with a few unanswered questions, but since it’s a series, I know they’ll be answered as the Alex’s story progresses. I’m looking forward to reading the next book as well as other books written by this author. Recommended!
Reviewed By: Gabbi